I’ll always Feel the Bern, but now I’m With Her
Wil Wheaton
57684

This means change is never coming — never, ever, ever.

It means despair.

Remember in 2008, when Candidate Obama said so bravely:

[…] this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.

But in 2012, running for re-election, President Obama said:

Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some.

Well, Candidate Clinton isn’t even promising as much as that.

She’s going to work with “energy suppliers” and “encourage research” and has already ruled out either carbon caps or taxes. What form do you expect “encouragement” to “energy suppliers” to take?

It might well already be too late to prevent a rise of 2º, but if we wait eight years before taking decisive, aggressive action, it will definitely be too late. (And given that we know her VP choice is a right-wing, anti-choice, pro-bank-deregulation drug warrior who’s shown little interest in environmental issues, and that he would be the most likely next President if we didn’t get a Republican, it’s likely to be a lot longer than eight years.)

It baffles me how adults can admit the science behind climate change, and still be completely down with the Democratic Party’s complete lack of action. I honestly think that, in their hearts, most people just don’t believe it’s going to happen because the consequences are too terrible. They think that by putting in a President that admits that climate change is real, but does nothing about it, they have fixed it all up.


Oh, oh, oh, it’s not just that. Clinton is an atrocious, terrible, horrible candidate.

She’s a war-monger; she’s deeply in bed with Wall Street and Big Business; the FBI report proved that she lied to America, she lied to a judge, she deliberately destroyed evidence — and all because she does not know how to use a desktop computer and only uses a Blackberry for her online presence. Once someone has lied to my face, has looked out at me from the television and told me something they knew to be false, I can never look at them the same way.

She has never once risked her career for her principles. Her actions are completely consistent with someone whose only goal is personal power.

She’s taken astonishingly large amounts of personal cash from banks — literally millions of dollars for hours of speeches, speeches that are by all account content-free rah-rah material (and tell me that surprises you in the slightest? Were you really expecting her to give Wall Street her market picks for 2017 when she gives a speech? Why do you pay someone whom you rationally expect to be President of the United States $700k for a 40 minute speech? For the beauty of their voice?) And now she’s picked a pro-bank de-regulation guy as a VP, indicating right away, “I’m with them.”

By telling me I have to support her, you’re telling me to completely give up hope for the future. I’m not willing to do that.


At this point, the only hope I see for the long term is the collapse of the Democratic Party as soon as possible. If Hillary Clinton is elected, this necessary collapse will likely be delayed by eight years and conceivably much more.

Yes, many people will suffer under a President Trump.

But let me be brutally frank: while millions of individual Americans don’t deserve this, as a whole Americans do deserve it: a majority of Americans who voted in the primaries voted for one of two sociopaths.

Actions have consequences, as the Conservatives love to say, and if your actions are morally inexcusable, you should expect morally deplorable consequences.


I’m not using the word “sociopath” here as some sort of random insult. I mean it in the most formal and technical sense.

For example, Henry Kissinger is objectively a war criminal.

The illegal bombing of Laos and Cambodia alone killed tens of thousands of people in countries that had never been at war with the United States and quite likely led to the takeover of Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge — all in pursuit of the paranoid, delusional beliefs of Kissinger and Nixon that the fall of Vietnam would lead to world communism — beliefs that we know now for a fact were completely contrary to the fact. And this is just one of many crimes that can be laid at Kissinger’s feet.

Imagine you met Henry Kissinger. What would you think? I would say, “I am meeting a human monster” — I suspect you would too.

Now Hillary Clinton doesn’t just admire Henry Kissinger — she is his friend! —indeed the Clintons and the Kissingers go on holidays together and have repeatedly stayed in the same house — source.

Why would any person choose to spend their vacations with someone responsible for genocide?

Because that person is a sociopath. There is no other explanation. Because from Hillary Clinton’s perspective the blood of tens or more likely hundreds of thousands of people on her friend Henry’s hands is unimportant.


But really, the final responsibility for this falls on America.

The USA recently had a huge war that killed half a million people, more Americans than 9/11, utterly trashed a country two thousand years older than yours, and cost trillions — and this election is the final proof that Americans just don’t give a damn about that at all.

No one paid any price at all for supporting that war; no one asked any questions about how to avoid it again; indeed, it’s still going on and there are thousands of American soldiers still in Iraq, though when the country actually collapses I’m sure they’ll remove a lot of them; our “leaders” ran that war for a decade and never asked the hard questions or made the hard decisions; and if the US elects Hillary Clinton, she will do it again as she did in Libya and to a lesser extent in Syria because Hillary Clinton has worked very hard already to establish herself as the hawkiest possible Democrat.

It’s disgusting and I can’t support it in the slightest. You will not have my consent. Run your own damn wars without my support — I will not participate.

Harsh but true: I see America as a morally bankrupt country on the way down. I just pray that it doesn’t wreak too much havoc on the rest of the world as it falls, but fall it must if progressive change is forever blocked.


So ask yourself these questions:

  1. What are the size of the changes we need to make to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic climate change?
  2. When do we need to start these changes in order to prevent sprinting right though the 2º ceiling and aiming for 3º?
  3. What would a 3º rise in global mean temperate cost the world over the next century?
  4. How far away is Hillary Clinton’s platform from the size of the changes we actually need to make?
  5. If elected, do you think Hillary Clinton in her first term would take the slightest risk to her chances of re-election in order to go to bat against climate change?

I do have a very very approximate answer for 3. Within an order of magnitude or more, mostly unchecked climate change would cost roughly a quadrillion dollars — that is, one thousand million million dollars.

This is personally the first time I ever ran into such a large number of dollars. It corresponds to a 15% drop in GDP lasting for a century. It corresponds to running the tip of your little finger over the world’s coastlands on a map and then working out how much of the world’s productivity you have wiped out.

Considering that hundreds of millions of people will have to be relocated and the food supply of billions will be at threat, this doesn’t seem inconceivably high.

But let’s suppose this is ten times too high. Still, at $100 trillion dollars, the cost of climate change will be more than all the wars in the twentieth century put together (in inflation adjusted dollars of course).


So future historians aren’t going to care whether we elect Trump or Clinton (unless either one starts a nuclear war, in which case there might not be any historians at all). A century from now, high school history books might read:

“While the greenhouse effect had been well understood as early as the nineteenth century, with an increasingly dysfunctional corporatocracy under dynastic rulers Bush I-III, Clinton I-III and Obama I-II the United States was unable to respond coherently to this seemingly blatant existential threat; instead, a small oligarchy looted the economy with complex, fraudulent financial stratagems on one side and gross human exploitation on the other, while the government pursued endless, inconclusive wars against mostly-imaginary enemies and spied obsessively on the political and economic activities of all the citizens of the world, resulting in by far the largest single data corpus in mankind’s history, our primary record of that dark and terrible century.”

(By the way, Wikipedia claims that

In 1917 Alexander Graham Bell wrote “[The unchecked burning of fossil fuels] would have a sort of greenhouse effect”, and “The net result is the greenhouse becomes a sort of hot-house.”[11][12] Bell went on to also advocate the use of alternate energy sources, such as solar energy.[13]

(Very interesting!)


Sorry for the immoderate tone — it’s not directed at you.

I have the greatest respect for you personally as an intelligent and self-critical person — no blame attaches to you, even though you’re wrong, wrong, wrong! ;-)

It is possible for people of good will to have different opinions and still respect each other. The reason that dialog is impossible between us and so many on the right is simply that they are no longer “people of good will”.


Yes, Trump seems terrifying, but “a decade before we start on mitigating climate change” is far more terrifying.

If you believe in the consensus of science on AGW, in thirty years everyone will know that the refusal to take action was a mistake of epic proportions.

I think a lot of people know this intellectually now — but they can’t bring themselves to act on this, so they say, “Well, Hillary is bad, but she actually admits climate change is occurring, which is better than Trump, so it’s OK she won’t do anything of substance about it.”

But we’re playing a game called “Stop The Water!” and we need to score +200 points not to drown. Business as usual (“King Log”) is -5; if we get Hillary we do better at -3, but Trump scores a dismal -10.

From a local viewpoint, Hillary is “better” — but you cannot add negative numbers and make a positive one. At some point the bell is going to go off and we will lose the game called “Stop The Water!” because we’ll be at about -30 — with perhaps never a turn where we scored positively, because each time we weren’t willing to take a risk.

I play a lot of Go, though I’m stuck at 6k (because I play too much blitz). Double-digit kyu players (10k and up, worse than me) play Go like the Democrats play politics. They are never willing to risk losing anything, so they never win anything big. That’s why I can beat them every time even though I’m a mediocre player.

That’s why the Republicans have pulled America steadily to the right for over thirty years — because they are willing to take a temporary loss rather than compromise their principles. This acts as a ratchet — the Overton window can only move to the right.

Having this attitude, that it’s not one election but a series of elections, results in much better long-term results, and until the Democrats understand this, they are going to continue to be frogmarched further and further to the right by a series of increasingly authoritarian, corporatist Democratic candidates.

But I won’t be with her, or with any of them.

Desperate times call for dead languages:

Non serviam; non acquiescit; et non cooperatur.


Final snark:

Hey, what did happen to that $13 billion in donations to Haiti after the earthquake that Bill Clinton and the Haitian PM were overseeing? That just… dropped out of the news. Did you know that during that time Hillary’s brother got the first new Haitian gold mining license in fifty years?

Sorry, for some reason this one personally sticks in my craw, perhaps because Haiti has been [defecated] on by pretty well everyone including “Mother” Nature for over a century…